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Weekend edition July 15, 2022 | Kailyn Lamb

Pilot joins GM to build coast-to-coast fast charging network for EVs

Knoxville-based Pilot Company announced it would be collaborating with General Motors (GM) on a national fast charging network. It will be installed, operated, and maintained by EVgo through its eXtend offering, according to a news release from Pilot.

This news came on the same day that the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council hosted a noontime virtual session focused on innovation in electric vehicles (EVs). Panel members from around the state mentioned a more widespread charging network as a crucial step in EV adoption. Look for an article on that event in an edition of early next week.

The network is meant to accelerate widespread adoption of EVs and increase access to charging for long-distance travel. It will have 2,000 charging stalls that will be co-branded “Pilot Flying J” and “Ultium Charge 360.” The chargers will work for all EV brands and will be located at 500 Pilot and Flying J travel centers. GM customers will receive special benefits, according to the release, including exclusive reservations, discounts on charging, a streamlined charging process, and integration into GM’s vehicle brand apps which provide real-time data on charger availability and route planning.

“GM and Pilot Company designed this program to combine private investments alongside intended government grant and utility programs to help reduce range anxiety and significantly close the gap in long-distance EV charger demand,” said Shameek Konar, Pilot Company Chief Executive Officer (pictured left). “Our travel centers are well-equipped to accommodate EV charging with 24/7 amenities and convenient proximity to major roadways across the country. We look forward to collaborating with GM and the U.S. Department of Transportation to make convenient coast-to-coast EV travel a reality through our national network of travel centers.”

EVgo is also working with GM to add more than 3,250 fast chargers nationwide by the end of 2025. EVgo was selected due to its expertise in DC fast charging infrastructure.

The news release cites research that shows widespread access to highway charging, particularly in underserved urban and rural areas, is a barrier to EV adoption.

Read the full release here.

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